“No garden can have too many bulbs. Splurge. It is the only way.” -Anna Pavord
If I had just one phrase that would describe my entire garden philosophy, this quote would be it.. Absolute geniousness. Yes, Anna, it is the only way.
The simple joy of a bulb is uncompressable. Watching something dried out and ugly go into the earth and turn into a beautiful flower is nothing short of miraculous. A true life lesson is so many ways. I garden with bulbs for many reasons……the element of surprise, the unique flower selection, seasonal change and the endurance of the bulb. May you garden with intention and find the joy and beauty of God’s little flower-power package of life…..the bulb.
The bulb has an element of surprise that is contageous. In life, there are few surprises left. We now have gender reveal parties, trip advisor and restaurant reviews, social media blasts, instant photos of people, places or things, and Google searches on anything and everything you could possibly want. We are a generation of knowledge and instant gratification. Luckily, the bulb doesn’t really care about the 21st century. The bulb will choose to flower when it feels like it…..hence, the surprise. Often times, one will wake up after a nice rain, walk outside to find a new flower blooming. Surprise! The forgotten bulb deep under the earth blooms, and in return, forces us to stop being so hurried, and take notice……Even for a moment, pausing to simply look at a flower bloom. A bulb is a constant reminder to the soul to seek out what really matters in life.
Bulbs offer the garden a variety of unique flowers, enriching the senses. Let’s all admit it…..impatiens and begonia are just about as boring as eating a cardboard plate for dinner. I try to avoid the easy, quick-color of Big-Box Garden Shops at all possible. Venture out to your local small farm nursery and browse the isles of plant uniqueness. Plant some flowers just for the bees and butterflies, and then splurge on a few bulbs. Let nature take hold of your garden, and let your own personality shine through.
Seasonal change is another beautiful reason to have bulbs, especially if you live in the South. Southern gardeners don’t have a conventional Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Our seasons are short and sometimes mixed all together. We do have nice bulb seasons though. We have Paperwhite Season, Spring Bulb Bloom, Crinum Season, Rain Liliy Season and Oxblood Lily Season…..or at east that’s the way I see it. I wake up each morning wondering what is blooming. I relish in each bloom season…..after all, a bulb blooms just once a year.
Finally, the main reason people love bulbs…..the hardiness and endurance of a bulb is unmatched. I have heirloom bulbs that are easily 100 years old…..still multiplying, dividing, blooming and conquering the garden world.
I love that my gardens are an investment.
I love that my flowers are a gift to future generations.
I love that my heirloom bulbs are going to outlive me, and tell my story to future gardeners.
I love that my bulbs are a link to gardeners of the past, who made their mark long before me.
No matter how hot the summer is, my Crinum will still bloom in the rain. My Oxblood Lilies will still announce the Fall, and my winter bulbs will still awake from their slumber. The Spring Bulb Bloom will still make everyone’s jaw drop, as they peek through the Poppies and Larkspur. Remember to choose bulbs appropriate for your climate….bulbs are hardy but not indestructible!
Happy Gardening, my friends! Remover to splurge. Eat the cake AND the ice cream, and buy the bulb.